How to Build a Sofa/Couch #2: Springs in the platform

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Blog entry by dakremer posted 05-23-2010 08:30 AM 59865 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Arm Rests Part 2 of How to Build a Sofa/Couch series Part 3: Finished springs, starting on the Back Rest »

Installing the springs is almost complete. I am choosing to install coil springs that are all hand tied together. This method is called “8-way hand tied.” The benefit of this method is that it is stronger, it lasts way longer, and is more comfortable than sinuous springs. Sinuous springs (or “S” springs) is what most furniture companies use today. They do the job, but like most things these days, they aren’t made to last. They also save furniture companies tons of time/money, because it is much easier/faster to install – unfortunately this means a lower quality sofa for the consumer. Installing the “8-way hand tied” springs takes probably 5X the time and is more costly for materials. Thats why if you buy a sofa that is truly “8-way hand tied” by a certified installer, it costs much more…...

In the first picture below, you can see that I’ve attached the platform to the arm rests. I did this by using 16 screws per side, all predrilled so the frame does not split on me (after all its just pine). Prior to attaching the platform to the arm rests, I laid out my springs to see where I needed to place my “jute webbing” on the underside of the sofa. The jute webbing is stapled to the bottom and stretched very tightly in a weave pattern. This is what the springs sit on. I hope you can see this from the 2nd picture down.



I will probably add some more jute webbing once the springs are completely tied, to give it some more strength. In the

In this next picture you can see I have started hand tying the springs. Can you guess why its called “8-way hand tied?” Once I am done, each spring will be attached to the frame 8 times, from 8 different directions. On top of that, each spring will be attached to every springs immediately surrounding it. In the picture below, i have gotten as far as “4-way hand tied.” I still need to tie them off in both diagonal ways. Once it is all tied, if you put pressure on one coil, every surrounding coil helps in taking the load. This makes for a VERY strong system to hold the weight of the people sitting on it. It also puts less pressure on the frame since more springs are absorbing the weight. With sinuous springs, each spring is attached to the frame in the front and back, and thats it – that puts a lot of pressure on the frame – which is why most of them don’t last very long.

Getting the springs just this far almost took 2-3 hours. And my fingers are killing me from running the Jute twine through each one of those!!! It will take probably another 2 hours to finish it.
Well thats all for now. For the next one I might show how to finish off the platform. Then all that is left is the back rest and the final piece of fabric that goes on the back of the sofa…then of course legs, and a dust cover for the bottom of the sofa. Thanks for reading!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

13 comments so far

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3008 days

#1 posted 05-23-2010 03:24 PM


This is quite the ambitious project – but it looks great so far.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#2 posted 05-23-2010 06:59 PM

Wow spring is busting out all over LOL
very interesting to see your progress

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View sras's profile


4806 posts in 3152 days

#3 posted 05-23-2010 08:24 PM

This is really interesting. Upholstered furniture looks quite challenging – to me at least.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3059 days

#4 posted 05-23-2010 10:25 PM

Good to see traditional methods being used.


-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3241 posts in 3735 days

#5 posted 05-23-2010 11:27 PM

What an ambitious project! I made my first couch 20+ years ago and knew nothing about upholstered furniture construction. Needless to say, there were no 8-way, hand-tied coil springs (and it wasn’t comfortable either). I haven’t built any other upholstered furniture from scratch but have rebuilt and reupholstered a dozen or so pieces now and have learned something new each time. I, like you, am self-taught (from books and videos borrowed from the library). From my experience I have learned that I can never put in TOO much padding; it always seems to disappear just after it is finished!

I wish you success with your couch and will enjoy reading your progress.

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Rick's profile


9701 posts in 3055 days

#6 posted 05-24-2010 06:07 AM

This is a very nice, complex, original, not easy to do, ”interesting” piece of work. Is that better dakremer!! ha ha!

How’s the “Chiropracting” going?????

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3114 days

#7 posted 05-24-2010 06:47 AM

I hope that is a good “interesting” and not a sarcastic one!! haha!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3114 days

#8 posted 05-25-2010 06:45 AM

Rick, I start Chiropractic school in July!! I can’t wait! Unfortunately once I do start, you guys probably wont be seeing much of me around here :( :(

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Rick's profile


9701 posts in 3055 days

#9 posted 05-25-2010 07:34 AM

DO IT!!!! & DO IT WELL!! Young Man!!

I have a Left Hip that the ” Witch Doctors” wanted to REPLACE over 30 years ago. “If you don’t have this done you won’t be able to WALK in a YEAR!”

A Left Shoulder, 20 Years ago that they wanted to ”TAKE APART, Clean it all up, put it back together, a Sling for at least 6 Months.”

They showed me the X-Rays (Somebody elses, I think) They Booked the Operating Room (HINT $$$$) I said NO! They got Mad!

A friend sent me to her CHIROPRACTOR. She did X-Rays. Politely said What? Where? !!! (HIP) Vertabre Pinching the Sciatic Nerve. THREE weeks later! No Pain! Few visits now and then for a year or so, NOTHING in the last 20 Years.

Shoulder ....Pinched Brachial PLexus ….and C6 C7 & C8 Heavily Calsified, 2 weeks to relieve that one, still bothers me a little now & then 1 or 2 trips it’s fine.

Wadda you call 20 MD’s and 20 Lawyers all jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge at the Same Time? .....NOT ENOUGH!!

Yes! There are probably more GOOD ONES than BAD ONES. I have a couple as friends. Just have to be Carefull!


-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3695 days

#10 posted 05-26-2010 01:22 AM

Do you have any tips on how to build a sofa?

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3114 days

#11 posted 05-26-2010 05:44 AM

Beginningwoodworker – I have tons of tips for you! haha – probably too many to type out – so if you have any specific questions, or if you are thinking about doing something like this yourself, just let me know and i’d love to help you!!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View femmeboheme's profile


1 post in 2223 days

#12 posted 05-17-2012 11:41 PM

I don’t know if you still check this but do you mind if I ask where you got your coil springs and any specifics about the springs that you remember (size, diameter…)

View pablorue's profile


1 post in 804 days

#13 posted 04-06-2016 12:28 AM

Hi, I know this is a bit old, but hopefully someone can still help.
I’m in the process of starting a sofa similar to this. I live in Nicaragua (but am English) and so obtaining materials (or at least quality ones) is challenging to say the least.

1)How did you attach the springs to the webbing at the bottom?
I’ve seen some that use an expensive ‘clench it’ tool and others have sewn them on to the webbing.
Unfortunately I cannot obtain the webbing and so am using a kind of plastic hammock material doubled over that I hope will be strong enough.

2) What spacing is recommended between the springs? Is more per foot better/firmer? or do they interfere with each other?

3) How is your sofa now? after nearly 6 years? it looked great! and very comfortable…

Thanks in advance for any help.

PS – am using springs from a dumped mattress (slightly shorter than yours and possibly thinner).

-- Paul, Jinotega, Nicaragua

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